Shocking New Cigarette Warning Labels Issued by FDA

Nine graphic images designed to warn Americans about the health dangers of smoking have been released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The new images will appear in every cigarette ad, on every cigarette carton, and on every pack of cigarettes sold in the U.S. no later September 2012. These new warnings are required under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act passed by Congress and signed into law in June 2009.

Each warning is accompanied by a smoking cessation phone number, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, the theory being that it will be seen at the moment it is most relevant to smokers. The goal is to decrease the number of people who smoke, or who are considering smoking, resulting in better health and longer life expectancy.

Tobacco use causes 443,000 U.S. deaths annually, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, making it the leading cause of premature and preventable death. Related medical costs and lost productivity cost our economy almost $200 billion each year.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released a statement saying, “President Obama is committed to protecting our nation’s children and the American people from the dangers of tobacco use. These labels are frank, honest and powerful depictions of the health risks of smoking and they will help encourage smokers to quit, and prevent children from smoking. President Obama wants to make tobacco-related death and disease part of the nation’s past, and not our future.”

Beginning in September 2012, the new cigarette health warnings must appear on the top 50 percent of both the front and rear panels of each cigarette package, and in the upper portion of each cigarette ad, taking up at least 20 percent of the space.

Key Dates for Implementing Cigarette Health Warnings
* November 12, 2010 – FDA released 36 proposed color graphic images and a proposed rule for public comment.
* June 21, 2011 – FDA announced its selection of nine new cigarette health warnings
* June 22, 2011 – FDA’s final rule, “Required Warnings for Cigarette Packages and Advertisements,” publishes in the Federal Register
* September 22, 2012 – Cigarettes for sale or distribution in the United States can no longer be manufactured or advertised without the new cigarette health warnings
* October 22, 2012 – Cigarette manufacturers can no longer distribute cigarettes for sale in the United States unless they display the new cigarette health warnings

We’ve certainly know about the dangers of smoking for a long time. It remains to be seen whether these new, more graphic images will have any impact at all.

Related reading:
Cigarettes Kill Animals Too
Smoking Chimp Passes Away

Story source and image: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services


Sarah M.
Sarah M6 years ago


Akin Adelakun
Akin Adelakun6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Lika S.
Lika P6 years ago

I'm highly doubting that current smokers will quit or slow down because of the ads, unless they're already in the mindset to do so already. The only way it will be successful is to ensure that we have fewer people starting in the first place.

Smoking is like drug use, you're addicted. So unless we're preventing future smokers with the ads, they're only going to affect those who want to quit.

Monika S.
Monika S6 years ago

So let me get this straight, James S. Being a non-smoker automatically makes me more likely to cheat on my partner, beat my kids, drive drunk etc.? Yeah, right. And smokers are all saints I guess. (Stereotypes, stereotypes...) Next time you try to get your point across (I mean those few valid points you mentioned in your comment), you might want to do it without trying to insult someone only because they don't smoke, and you might be taken more seriously. As for your "Stop dictating how I should live", what about starting with yourself first? If you want to risk your health because of smoking, feel free to do so. But food for thought: While my non-smoking doesn't affect you negatively in any way when I'm near you, your smoking does affect me in a very negative way. Ever heard about "passive smoking"? Ever heard it's even more dangerous than the active one? It's actually smokers who impose their will on non-smokers because every time a non-smoker gets near you, you force them to breathe what they don't want to breathe and didn't choose to breathe. So I say: Before you go all berserk and make a fool out of yourself (instead of presenting your points in an adult way), you might want to think about who actually deprives who of liberty.

Catt R.
Catt R6 years ago

James, exposure to cigarette smoke shuts down my airway... I have asthma, your cigarette smoke sets off a reaction where my lungs start filling with fluid immediately, I cough trying to keep a clear airway but the mucus whose creation was triggered by my allergy to your cigarette smoke is almost as thick as rubber cement.... my eyes stream tears as I choke and fight to recover my airway. I choked so badly, worked to keep my airway clear and threw-up.... was it you that just made the remark that people like me should not be allowed in public because seeing me do this ruined your night????

How thoughtless of us to feel out need to breathe should be more important than your need to poison our air.

Barbara Currier
Barbara C6 years ago

For a moment, smokers, look at this from a different perspective. Some of us can't physically tolerate your habit. People with cycstic fibrosis can die when you smoke. The development of children's lungs can be adversely affected. Me, I'm allergic. When I was 17, in the dark ages when people smoked all over the place, my mother had me ride with some ladies who were going to the junior college a half hour away, so I didn't have to drive alone in the tule fog. They smoked the whole way there and back with the windows up because it was cold and foggy. I was in bed for three days afterward, hardly able to raise my head. My mom decided I would be safer driving myself. I have missed out on a lot of social situations because I could not go where smokers were. The reaction I get when I am exposed to cigarette smoke has increased with time, at first whiff, I know I have to get away. The same car trip would probably kill me, now. We're not all trying to be your nannies. You hurt us.

Gloria W.
Gloria W.6 years ago

it is an addiction stronger than heroin...

Blaise G.
Blaise G6 years ago

My son was hit by a car about three years ago when he made the mistake of running across a major street here in L.A. as the street light was changing...his timing was very bad. He received lacerations and bruses and a concussion to the head and has suffered headaches ever since. He is now eighteen years old, he's going to college AND he had been a smoker since he was about fifteen. His mother and I knew that he was smoking cigarettes, but my philosophy is that no matter what, it is ultimately his choice. I had some long talks with him about that choice. I gave him the facts and the stories about my dad and his grandmother's father that I wrote about below in a previous comment. But ultimately, it was his choice and I said that, even though I did not support his habit, I told him to look at it as a corporation making itself rich off of HIS money all the while, he is deteriorating his health. And being a Street Skater, and a damn good one to boot, a snow boarder, and a other althlete, that he ought to do some reflecting. Ultimately, about six months ago, he announced to me one day out of the blue, that he had quit smoking tobacco.

Blaise G.
Blaise G6 years ago

I congratulated him and hugged him...then we shared a medicinal smoke together of which he has his Medical Card for because the HERB alleviates his frequent headaches...he said that the cigarette smoking actually caused MORE frequent headaches and that was one of the reasons why he was motivated to quit, plus he met a really nice girl who isn't a smoker and he didn't want to burden or strain his relationship with her. The point is, we can all argue about the horrors of cigarette smoking, and they ARE horrors, that is, the final results of a lifetime of smoking. I read a recent study last year that mentioned that emphysema is being seen in a LOT more young smokers. As young as smokers in their early twenties. A young smoker who had emphysema was diagnosed at the tender age of twenty two. He was struggling to quit and his doctor was trying to do everything to get him to find a way to do so. I lived with a girlfriend back in the 1980's who was an avid smoker. We lived together for a couple of years. But everytime she lit one up, I would go into another room and shut the door between us. Or I would bring out a huge ocillating fan to blow the smoke in the oposite direction. I wouldn't kiss her until she brushed her teeth and washed her stinky mouth out with mouth wash. I wasn't trying to be insensitive, but I grew up in a household where my dad smoked like a chimney and my siblings and I had the worst coughs.

Blaise G.
Blaise G6 years ago

We were even told that we sounded like smokers! Well, in actuality, we really were! I remember my mom telling us to "Hide papa's cigarettes." then he'd get very angry (do you blame him? Don't piss off a drug addict!) and threaten us with the belt if we didn't return his drugs. I would never assume to tell a cigarette smoker that they can't smoke...I smoke...just not tobacco. I couldn't tell you why tobacco smoke stinks and burns my eyes and throat and makes my clothes and home and furniture smell terrible, but in my opinion it just does. And yet, I love the smell of burning cannibis. It doesn't burn my eyes or my throat...why? I don't know the answer to that question. I just know that it doesn't. My ex-wife was the Prima Ballerina for the Tokyo Ballet back in the late 1970's and very early 1980's. As many of you know, a lot of dancers smoke cigarettes to raise their metabolism and cessate hunger so that they can keep their weight down. My ex smoked cigarettes because she said that her boss told her to do so, even though she hated smoking. She said that she eventually became addicted to it. And after she left the ballet, she went in a program to quit...and she eventually the benefit of her long term health. But you still cannot tell people what to do with their lives. Especially the deeply corrupt government...the worst hypocrits on the planet.